The New Jersey Devils have agreed to trade Sami Vatanen to the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes will send a conditional fourth-round pick, prospect, Janne Kuokkanen and defenseman Fredrik Claesson. In addition, the Devils retain 50 percent of Vatanen’s salary.
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) February 24, 2020
Devils Trade Sami Vatanen to Hurricanes
The Devils completed another trade deadline day. The Hurricanes acquire defenceman Sami Vatanen. As part of the deal, the Devils will get a fourth-round pick in 2020 if Vatanen plays five regular-season games. The pick becomes a third-rounder if Vatanen plays 12 regular season games or 70% Carolina’s playoff games. The pick goes away if none of these things happen.
Things have not gone according to plan for the Devils this season. Even though the Devils originally had plans to keep the defenceman long-term, it was in their best interest to trade him to acquire even more young assets. While Vatanen is still dealing with an injury, teams were expressing interest in him. While some were scared off by the timetable of his return, it did not scare teams off totally from trying to acquire him. Vatanen came to the Devils in the fall of 2017 in a trade that saw the Devils sent centre Adam Henrique to the Anaheim Ducks. Since arriving in New Jersey, Vatanen has been a workhorse on defence. He solidified the right side and is a minutes eater averaging 21:08 time on ice in his career.
Originally drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Draft by the Ducks, Vatanen will now be on his third team in his eight-year NHL career. In 434 career games, Vatanen has recorded 194 points (45 goals and 149 assists) averaging over 21 minutes of time on ice. In 44 games in the postseason with the Ducks and Devils, he has recorded 23 points (six goals and 17 assists).
Vatanen is currently on injured reserve but is expected to be back in the near future. With the Hurricanes already dealing with injuries to Dougie Hamilton and Brett Pesce, he is a much-needed piece and is versatile as he can play both right and left defence.
What This Means For Vatanen’s New Team
As previously mentioned Vatanen is a workhorse on defence. He will fit into any team’s top four right away and make an impact. Vatanen can match up well against the opposition’s top line. Not to mention his ability to carry the puck out of his own defensive zone to start the rush. He is also good on the power-play. He is the ideal defenceman quarterbacking the power play. In his career of the 45 goals he has scored, 21 came on the powerplay. That is nearly half. Of his 149 career assists, he has recorded 65 of them on the power-play He will boost the power play immediately.
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